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WATCHING ‘THE BIG GAME’: Wiseguys, a great local spot to watch football

February 1, 2010
ERIC VOORHIS, News Staff Writer
     LAKE PLACID — With the Indianapolis Colts lined up to battle the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, certain things come to mind: Mounds of chicken wings dripping with sauce; ice cold beer, nachos and anything fried; gathering with good friends to make some noise, shout at the TV and enjoy one of our nation’s most celebrated events. Not to mention some of the most inspired advertising of the year.
   But the question is: Where to go watch the Big Game?
   Wise Guys Sports Bar and Nightclub on School Street in Lake Placid is perhaps a wise choice. With 11 televisions of varying size scattered around the bar equipped with satellite sport packages – bar far the most in the Olympic Village — it’s hard not to absorb some form of organized sports at any given time, no matter where you sit.
   Owners Nick and Lisa Planty, who opened the place about six years ago, have big plans for this year’s game-day celebration.
    “We have a great big party every year,” Lisa said. “It has become a really special tradition.”
     The bar was filled with sports-fans on Sunday, Jan. 24, during the AFC Championship Game. A crowd gathered around several tables on a raised area in the middle of the main barroom — what Lisa called the VIP section — yelling at the big-screen as if it would relay their message to the referee.
    “I honestly think one of the things that sets this bar apart is the amount of space we have,” Lisa said.
    The upstairs bar and restaurant is open for business seven days a week, but on weekends Wise Guys opens up the basement nightclub, which has an enormous bar, a wide-open dance floor next to a DJ booth and plenty of tables edging the room.
   On the day of the Big Game, a 7-by-9 screen and projector will be set up in the basement to create a little extra space for the expected overflow of costumers. And you can’t beat watching a nearly life-sized game.
    “The other thing that makes us stand out is our food,” Lisa said. “People really appreciate the quality of our pub fare.”
    Wise Guys regular menu includes wings, burgers, sandwiches and wraps served up till 3 a.m. for late-night munchers looking to soak up some alcohol. But during the Big Game, Wise Guys does something a little bit different. Lisa spends days preparing a feast — an all you can eat buffet including, wings, meatballs, mac and potato salad, coleslaw, beef stroganoff, lasagna and plenty of deserts. The buffet is on a first-come, first-served basis and usually goes for about 15 bucks.
    “The buffet is always a huge hit,” said Tom Moore, a retired federal prison guard, leaning over the bar. “They serve up everything from soup to nuts.”
    Moore has been frequenting the bar since the day they opened.
   “It’s really the only true sports bar in Lake Placid,” he said, keeping an eye on the football game. “It’s the biggest, loudest place in town.”
    Nick and Lisa’s daughter, Carissa, served Moore a cold one and continued to hover around the bar, taking orders and chatting with costumers who all seemed to know her.
     “I’ve been working here since the bar opened,” Carissa said. “It’s really all about the atmosphere of this place. We have some really enthusiastic fans,” she went on, looking around for thirsty patrons. “It can get pretty loud in here.”
     If you’re looking for some entertainment before or after the Big Game, Wise Guys has three pool tables along with foosball, bubble hockey, two electronic dart boards and a Golden Tee arcade game, making the bar a playground for those who appreciate some good spirited competition.
    “They even have karaoke,” said Moore, with a grin.

             ¯   ¯   ¯   
   Across town at Players Sports Bar on Main Street, owner Sunny Cecunjanin is also planning a Big Game celebration. With six TVs, and a “nice friendly atmosphere,” he offers a free buffet — with wings, nachos, mozzarella sticks and fried mushrooms — to costumers who stay for the duration of the game.
    “We’ve got good TVs, good food and a great view,” Cecunjanin said.
     Along with the buffet Players offers drink specials including selected $3 mixed drinks, $3 margaritas and $2 draft beer.

Article Photos

The buffet at Wiseguys spans several tables and fans are eager to fill up their plates at half time. Owner Lisa Planty, second from right, works hard to make sure each bin is full.

Lake Placid News file photo/Richard Rosentreter

Fact Box

If you go ...

Where: Wiseguys on School Street, right off Main Street next to the Olympic Oval
Cost: Free to watch the game; usually $15 for a large all-you-can-eat buffet
For more information, call 523-4446

Other Big
Game options

High Peaks Resort Dancing Bears Lounge
Main St., Lake Placid
Normal happy hour, all drafts are $2 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Also, a half time happy hour: all drafts $2 and an assortment of complimentary appetizers available during the game.
For more information, call 523-4411 ext. 377

Northwoods Inn/The Cabin Bar
Main St., Lake Placid
The Cabin will offer drink specials and complimentary snacks with viewing of the game on the flat panel widescreen TV. The Cabin will open at 5 p.m.
For more information, call 523-1818 or visit

R.F McDougall’s
Hungry Trout
State Route 86, Wilmington
Annual Big Game party includes free hot dogs, chili, tacos and pizza during half time. Party starts at 4 p.m.
For more information, call 946-2217



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